PLYMOUTH DUSTER IS A HIT
The Duster was conceived as a sportier version of the Valiant. With a sleek, semi-fastback body, and new front and rear facia, the Duster looked just right, and in no way seemed to betray its lineage. Designed to compete against the Chevy Nova and the Ford Maverick, it was launched in the 1970 model year and quickly became one of Plymouth’s best sellers. So good in fact that Dodge wanted a version for themselves, which they called Demon.
PLYMOUTH DUSTER IN THE 70s
It turned out to be the right car at the right time. Horsepower had peaked in 1970, and would drop severely throughout the 70s as smog laws, no-lead gas, and sky-high insurance killed performance and the muscle car market with it. The Duster was smaller, lighter, and even with small block V8s, like the excellent 340, they had plenty of pep. Maybe not what the big blocks had in their hay day, but that was no longer on option. The Duster went through just one generation, from 1970 through the 1976 model year, when it was replaced by the Volare.
PLYMOUTH DUSTER OPTIONS
There were several option packages over the years, some with respectable performance. The Duster name created all kinds of marketing possibilities. There were actually models named Gold Duster, Silver Duster, Feather Duster, Space Duster and Duster Twister. Most were cosmetic packages. The 340 Duster and 360 Duster were both performance option packages.